Thursday, July 01, 2010

'I'm a Poet and I don't even know that I am one'

[As an aside I'd like to apologize on my tardiness lately, even though I've been on facebook for years now it seems recently I've become addicted to blasting status updates instead of writing blog posts and my attention span has shrunk considerably. I'm trying to get back to more substantial posting.]

Last night I went to the launch of the 'New Poets 2010' it may have even been a society, though it didn't strike me as such. The event was free, it was packed, there was standing room only. An old acquaintance from my TNS call center days was one of the New Poets and in fact the closing act.

I had a chance to read through her poems this morning. The evening wasn't all great for example some of the more natural-world inspired poems were hard to concentrate on and visualise what was being talked about because my vocabularity wasn't up to it.

Plus at random times I kept thinking of Mr. Show's 'Monsters of Megaphone' skit which I had watched earlier that day. But those are my personal failings not the poets themselves.

The poems generally smacked of work, but in a good way. Sure the creative process is mysterious, but at some point work must be done to push anything even the humble poem to elite new heights.

See I was expecting some kind of cringe-fest like Def-poetry,with pretentious people nodding to pretentious orations by otherwise cool rappers.

Alas, (thankfully) it was not. It was a beautiful event aside from what i feel was unnecessary Masterchef Judge George bashing.

Anyway I don't really know what to say about poetry. It's poetry, and probably best captures the indefinable nature of art. I can say it was high quality poetry, but I wouldn't know how to convey the quality to you.

I bought a book of poems of one of the performers, got it signed and all. But I don't think it would be cool to reproduce her material here.

ONe thing I can talk about though is the heirarchy of crowds.

It is my intention to one day do standup comedy...again. My first experience was pretty brutal and mercifully failure is met with forgetfulness. Comedy crowds are tough, particularly when they are made up of other aspiring comedians and or people who are there just to drink or have some kind of corporate function.

You need to entertain or shut the fuck up.

Contrast this with public speaking crowds, whenever you are making a formal address the crowd is there through some sense of duty or simply a desire to kill time. They don't expect to be entertained they expect to be bored. Thus any jokes you crack have ten times the currency than they would if you were presented as a stand up comic. People shouldn't fear public speaking, its like shooting fish in a barrel.

The 'home crowd' is the friends in the school yard, work colleagues in your cubicle, thats your safe secure environment where you can experiment and fail to little consequence. You can go volume not quality and so forth. It is still probably not the ideal place to test material but it is the most forgiving crowd you'll ever have.

Then there's the poetry crowd, aside from doing strange things to people's haircuts, it's like the public speaking crowd times 10. Because if the rest of the audience is like me their mental energy is totally preoccupied trying to visualise the subject matter of the prose as it works its way into our brain through its artful coding.
Thus thusly, jokes here have ten times the currency they do in public speaking. It's like completely deleveraged from the gold standard (stand-up) or even some kind of reserve ratio (public speaking) this is SOuth America people!

So whilst I've been once bitten and twice shy of standup, I may long term ease into it via the poetry scene, I may even wind up doing poetry rap.

Also to reiterate, supporting people is really easy, If I can rearrange my roster to go see a poetry reading, you 9-5ers can just turn up and support. Do it!

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